Skills Without Frills: The Rise of Coding Academies →

The basement of a onceabandoned tobacco factory may seem to be an odd place to teach the most cutting edge computer technology, but that’s where The Iron Yard, a computer coding academy in Durham, North Carolina, makes its home. It holds classes in the basement of the American Tobacco Campus, a renovated multi-use industrial site where the American Tobacco Factory once manufactured famous cigarette brands like Lucky Strike and Liggett & Myers.

Yet, The Iron Yard’s location does have a certain sense of continuity or symmetry to it. The industrial chic décor, with cement walls and floors, pipes hanging from the ceiling, and glass walls for every room, immediately brings to mind the feeling that this is a place of work,befitting a for-profit school dedicated to providing students with no-frills, nose-to-the-grindstone training intended to lead to a highly skilled job in just a few short months.

Read the full Pope Center for Higher Education Policy article here.

Raleigh-Durham Demo Day Recap

For 12 weeks, our students put their heart and soul into learning how to code. At the end of each cohort, we celebrate the culmination of their immersive training and all they have accomplished at Demo Day. Demo Day gives each of our grads the opportunity to show off the applications they’ve built to prospective employers, community leaders and peers after weeks of hard work and preparation.

On July 13, our Raleigh and Durham campuses joined forces to host one of our largest Demo Day events to date. Not only did the event draw a full house of leaders and advisory board members from the Triangle area, it brought together more than 20 members of The Iron Yard team to support our students in-person. We consider it a privilege that our students choose us to be a part of their journey and watching them share their projects with the community is a powerful reminder of the why we love coming to work everyday.

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Driven by Data: Julio’s Story

One exciting benefit of learning to code is gaining the technical skills to solve real world problems. We love it when our students find they are able to tackle problems they faced in previous professional positions or in their personal lives using what they’ve learned in our courses. Julio Cardoza, a recent graduate from the Data Science course in Durham, NC, is an amazing example of someone who leveraged his new-found skills to solve an issue he faced as an Uber driver.

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Advice from a current student: Aaron’s story

Aaron is in week six of his journey at The Iron Yard, taking our Front-End Engineering with JavaScript course in Durham. He only has six weeks left and has been updating his blog, Aaroninbeta, weekly.

We love his take on life at The Iron Yard and are impressed with how he has learned to embrace failures and celebrate wins. We asked Aaron if we could share his thoughts here and he was happy to pass on what he’s learned to future Iron Yarders. Read his advice below, in his own words: 

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Team member spotlight: Meet Kelly Murray, Front-End Engineering Instructor

Kelly has been coding since she was 12, taught her first class on computers at 13, and is truly passionate about diversity and mentorship in the tech industry. We’re so lucky to have her as our Front-End Engineering instructor for our Durham campus. Kelly is focused on finding creative solutions to the world’s problems, and we can’t wait to introduce her to you.

Here’s a bit more about Kelly, in her own words:  Read More

How to find a job after code school: An IronGrad’s perspective

Andrew graduated from our Back-End Engineering with Python program in Durham late last year. Today, he’s a Junior Web Application Developer at AT&T. As he became more comfortable in his new position and reflected on his code school experience, he decided to write out some tips for others who are interested in how to find a job after code school.

“Andrew took advantage of tons of opportunities for career support as he got close to graduation, from resume reviews to mock interviews to really engaging with the local tech community,” said Dana Calder, our Campus Director in Durham. His persistence and passion helped him begin his new career less than three months after graduating, and his tips for other code school grads are definitely worth checking out. We shared some of Andrew’s story with you back in March – click here if you haven’t read his story yet.

Here are Andrew’s tips for how to find a job after code school, in his own words:

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From Aerospace Engineer to programmer: John Buscemi’s story

John left a career as an Aerospace Engineer for something he found even more exciting: programming. The perfect balance of fast-paced problem solving, creativity and teamwork, coding quickly became a passion for John – who tried to learn to code on his own but turned to The Iron Yard for help. He now works for Red Hat in Raleigh, N.C. as a Software Application Engineer. 

Here’s John’s story, in his own words: Read More

Am I really doing this? Jefferson’s journey to The Iron Yard

Jefferson is currently in week 10 of his Back-End Engineering with Ruby on Rails cohort in Durham, NC. At 30 years old (and with a wife who is currently expecting!), he decided to leave his stable job at a bank to find a career path he loves. He’s already hard at work on his final project, and he’s been diligently tracking his experience via his blog, WizardofRails.

We think his first post, “Am I really doing this?” is such an insightful look into the thought process that goes into making the decision to attend The Iron Yard. Jefferson graciously allowed us to share his first post here with you. It’s worth the 3-minute read. Oh, and we love his weekly “comfort-to-panic” scale. Read More